A UK appeals court ruled [decision PDF] Thursday in favor of Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited in a design infringement case brought by Apple, Inc. [corporate websites]. The decision by the three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling [JURIST report] finding that three of Samsung's tablets did not infringe on Apple's registered design patent. The issue in the case was whether Samsung's tablets were so similar in design to Apple's iPad to constitute design infringement. The court determined that Samsung's tablets, which contain noticeably distinguishable features on their front face, including a Samsung logo, are not sufficiently similar to the iPad to find infringement. The court also upheld an order requiring Apple to post a notice on its website notifying consumers of the decision in the case. The court said the notice is necessary to prevent harm to Samsung's sales that may result from consumers who believe that the product is illegal.
Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in continuous patent litigation in courts around the world. On Monday Apple appealed a Tokyo District Court ruling [JURIST report] which dismissed Apple's claim that Samsung had infringed on its patents. Last week the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed an injunction [JURIST report] issued by the US District Court for the Northern District of California against Samsung in an ongoing patent dispute with Apple. In September the Federal Circuit similarly ordered [JURIST report] the Northern District of California to reconsider an injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 [product backgrounder]. Only a week prior, Apple filed a motion [JURIST report] with the Northern District of California to prohibit Samsung from selling products in the US that supposedly infringe on Apple's patents. Also in September, Samsung announced [JURIST report] that it will be adding the iPhone5 [product backgrounder] to a new patent infringement suit against Apple.